Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting across a frozen lake... not the normal way

Lake Superior does not typically freeze over in it's entirety but the "edges" typically do but it usually takes a long time to get there. In the winter there are several ways to get to the Apostle Islands from Bayfield.
1. Until the ice is thick enough to drive on the boat service will shuttle people over to Madeline Island (one of the Apostle Islands) cutting through the ice if necessary.
2. Then there is the Windsled vehicle that will "float" across the surface of the ice but if for some reason the ice broke the Windsled would be able to float on the water.
2. The infamous ice road... basically driving on ice. They mark the ice road by using old Christmas Trees so drivers can tell where it is safe to drive on.

We were able to catch one of the last cruises on the Island Queen before it closed for the season on our trip. That Monday they were starting to use the Windsled to shuttle people to Madeline Island. I had hoped that during our weekend adventure we would be able to ride the Windsled on the lake, but alas that was not an option but from what I hear the Windsled is much colder and louder.

Madeline Island is the home of La Pointe, WI. As of the 2000 Census there were about 246 people living on the island, 125 households, and 66 families. Walking around the island it was apparent that a lot of the houses were summer homes and getaways. Like this gorgeous home that we stumbled upon on our cold walk.

There was not much that was open on a Saturday morning on Madeline Island. We came across a coffee shop with an attached gift shop, I swear that we were the first tourist that many people had seen in a long time. We spent most of our hour and a 45 minutes on the island in the gift shop/coffee shop talking to the owner. The candy store owner actually offered to open his store for us since we were on the island. L also mailed a postcard from the La Pointe Post office... it was very cute and old fashion on the inside. We joked that everyone on the island & Bayfield heard there were 3 crazy Minnesotan tourists and came out to see us.

Above is a picture of Bayfield from the Island Queen.
*All pictures taken by me*

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